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Schoolchildren visiting parliament to get glass of milk

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Committee on Parliamentary Business has decided to provide a free glass of milk to the school children who daily come to visit the Parliament.

Accordingly, the approval of the committee was given yesterday (08) to execute this proposal from next year subjected to a maximum of 500 children per day, the Secretary General of the Parliament Mr. Dhammika Dasanayake said.

He also said that it was decided to appoint a special committee consisting four members to further study and make recommendations regarding the establishment of three Standing Committees to be established.

Accordingly, the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, the Committee on Ways and Means, the Committee on Economic Stabilization are expected to be established as new standing committees.

Accordingly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs – Ali Sabry as well as Members of Parliament – (Dr.) Harsha de Silva, M. A. Sumanthiran and Sagara Kariyawasam were appointed to this special committee, the Secretary General said.

The Committee is bestowed with the task of analyzing whether the functions of the existing standing committees, namely the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) and the Committee on Public Finance overlap with these new standing committees and make necessary recommendations for reconsideration if necessary. This will be done by this committee.

Accordingly, it was agreed that the Committee on Parliamentary Business will meet next Friday and to take further steps related to these recommendations.

Furthermore, according to a request made by the Opposition regarding increasing time for the debate on the 2023 Appropriation Bill (Budget), it has been decided to extend the debate for the Committee stage by one and a half hours.

Accordingly, the Committee Stage of the Budget debate will be held from November 23rd to December 7th until 7:00 p.m. and the vote for the Third Reading is scheduled to be held on December 8th at 5:00 PM as previously decided.

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President pays final respects to late Dr. Ariyaratne & Palitha Thewarapperuma (Pics)

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe today (April 19) paid his final respects to the late social activist and founder of the Sarvodaya movement, Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne as well as to former UNP Member of Parliament and former Deputy Minister, Palitha Thevarapperuma.Visiting the Moratuwa Sarvodaya Headquarters where Mr. Ariyaratne was laid to rest, the President offered his final respects and left a condolence note. He also shared condolences with the grieving family members. 

The President also paid his last respects and extended condolences to the grieving family and local community at the residence Palitha Thewarapperuma, in Yatadolawatte, Matugama.

UNP Chairman MP Wajira Abeywardena and several others attended the event.

(Pics : PMD)


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Flu & diarrhea cases among children on the rise

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Health Authorities have warned of a rise of diarrhea and flu cases among children after the New Year period.
Consultant paediatrician Dr. Deepal Perera advised parents to immediately seek medical attention if their children have been suffering from fever continuously for 3-4 days.

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Fortified rice distribution initiative commences

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The distribution of fortified rice, provided by the World Food Program (WFP) on behalf of the program initiated under the instructions of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, to provide a nutritious meal for school students, commenced today, (19) at the Veyangoda warehouse complex.

In an effort to reduce iron deficiency among school children, fortified rice is provided for school meals. This distribution will be conducted under the supervision of Mr. M.H.A.M. Riflan, Director General for the Partnership Secretariat for World Food Programme Co-operation (PSWFPC), which operates under the purview of the Presidential Secretariat.

As planned, the distribution of 735 metric tons of rice to provincial-level schools commenced today as part of the first phase and will continue tomorrow (20). This rice stock is being delivered to schools under the supervision of officials from the respective Provincial Departments of Education and Public Health Inspectors (PHIs).

Meanwhile, Director General for the PSWFPC, Mr. M.H.A.M. Riflan stated that 378.835 metric tons of dhal, 412.08 metric tons of sunflower cooking oil, and 300 metric tons of dates will be distributed to schools following the start of the new school term on May 19.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Education has implemented measures to provide a main meal at school for all students in grades 1-5 across the country. Following nutritionists’ recommendations, students receive breakfast between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. daily before engaging in educational activities.

Under the theme of ‘Healthy Active Generation,’ the 2024 school meal program aims to reduce nutritional problems among students, increase daily school attendance, foster good eating and health habits, contribute to the improvement of educational achievement levels, and fulfil the fundamental objectives of promoting local food culture.The school feeding program for this year extends its benefits to 1.6 million students, including primary students from 9,134 government schools, as well as smaller schools with fewer than 100 students. A budget of Rs. 16.6 billion has been allocated to the nine provincial councils by the government, supplemented by sponsorship from entities such as the World Food Program (WFP) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

(President’s Media Division) 

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